With the NFL negotiations concerning the collective bargaining agreement looming over the sports industry, sports and entertainment law professionals gathered at the University of Miami campus last Saturday for Miami Law's 14th Annual Entertainment & Sports Law Society Symposium. The day-long event brought law students and professionals together in a forum that discussed current legal issues in sports, entertainment, intellectual property, the arts, and the media.
The keynote speaker for this year's symposium was NFL agent Ralph Cindrich, a former NFL player with the Houston Oilers and the New England Patriots. In addition to his more than 30 years' experience as an NFL agent, Cindrich's legal experience includes business law, murder trials, and Tax Court litigation.
Cindrich gave advice on how to break into the business, such as writing a sports blog and getting involved on the ground level of an organization. He also stressed the importance of having a legal background since legal training helps with contracts, negotiation, and criminal and domestic matters that arise with clients.
Other speakers at the event included David Slutsker, a sports and entertainment attorney who specializes in boxing; David Canter, an NFL agent who founded DEC Management; Tony Agnone, an experienced NFL agent for Eastern Athletic Services; Steven Ziff, Vice President of Marketing and Brand Activation for the Florida Panthers; Derek Jackson, General Counsel for the Florida Marlins; and Alan Fertel, an entertainment and sports attorney for the law firm Pathman Lewis.
The symposium included five panels that dealt with alternative revenue streams for athletes and entertainers; labor environment in professional sports; licensing and sponsorship negotiation; legal strategies for musicians; and high-profile legal issues.
The University of Miami School of Law Entertainment and Sports Law Society hosted its first symposium in 1997. Since then, the Symposium has grown into a full-scale event and boasts some of the most well-known attorneys in the fields as panelists and speakers.